While Thanksgiving is a holiday that America celebrates, Italian American's have added a unique flavor to this holiday. Many Italians that have immigrated to America have welcomed Thanksgiving, in their own distinctive way. They love any holiday that brings together family, friends, and food. Every Italian family has their own traditions and recipes that are unique which make Thanksgiving special. Turkey and the trimmings, are traditional, but Italian Americans will often add to their dinner with an antipasto, a pasta or soup course, and the desserts. Not only your typical pumpkin pie, but sweets, and pastries that Italians are known for.
Playing games was always fun, and the laughter that could be heard throughout the house was infectious. After the games were played, and the children won some pennies, the dining room table began to be transformed into a sweet mountain of desserts. The coffee and demitasse (black coffee) cups were added to the table, plus the nuts, fruits, figs, hot chestnuts, and chocolates. Then in between these delectable treats, the cookies, pies, pastries and cheese cakes were placed on the table to complete our mountain of sweets. By this time, it would be about 9:00 pm and everyone was stuffed like a turkey, after their feeding frenzy. Then the cleanup would begin, and everyone would start to go home. But in the far distance I could hear my mother say, “What shall we have for dinner tomorrow”. All I know is that every family whether they are of Italian heritage or not, has a different cuisine and tradition to celebrate the holiday. What matters most to me, isn’t what ingredients were used, or who won the game, but the opportunity for families to come together, have fun, and celebrate the season which will be a memory to last a lifetime.
My recipe this week is one that my mom has used for Thanksgiving for many years. It is so delicious that we ask her to cook this dish even if it is not a holiday. This recipe has been passed down from my great-grandmother Sofia. It is called “Rice Stuffing: Rice, Sausage & Onions” My family loves this stuffing as it is made in a baking dish and NOT stuffed inside the turkey. The flavor is sweet from the onions and sausage plus has that savory taste from the cheese. It is a perfect marriage to have along side of your turkey dinner. So, as we say in Italian, “Abbondanza!!”(plentiful & abundance) Happy Thanksgiving to everyone…..
|My great-grandmother, Sofia|
1 1/2 lbs of sweet sausage bulk (out of casing)
2 cups of rice (uncooked) Uncle Bens
3 large eggs
2 large onions (sliced thin)
3/4 cup of Pecorino Romano grated cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté sausage in a pan with a little oil. Before sausage is totally cooked add onions and finish cooking. While sausage is cooking cook rice. Drain rice and put in a large bowl. Next beat eggs in a small bowl. Then mix together cooked rice, raw beaten eggs, grated cheese, and cooked sausage with onions. Put in a baking dish.
Bake in a 350° for about 40-45 minutes until mixture sets.
Till Next Time………
Copyright © 2013 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved